A cantata is a vocal composition with instrumental accompaniment, woven around a narrative. In Clare Goulet's hands it becomes a rich story, weaving music, water and words into a beguiling tapestry. Cantata moves effortlessly between storylines, from a young woman who discovers she lost her twin sister to drowning, to Virginia Woolf, to Rabbi Ernest Klein with his history shrouded by WW II and his Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language. Goulet is an adept and thoughtful writer, her characters are nuanced, and her love of the history and texture of language is obvious in this lyrical composition. Scattered with pieces of an original score and etymological citations, Cantata is a book that pushes the boundaries of form, while never losing sight of the importance of a captivating story.

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